What to Expect from and How to Treat a Skipper
Hiring a professional skipper for your sailing trip always sounds like a good idea. Regardless of your sailing skills, vacations are much more comfortable and relaxed if a professional is aboard. Besides sailing, professional skippers possess local knowledge not only about the sailing area and weather patterns
The following conversation is usually about the route planning. The skipper should match clients’ wishes and desires about sailing destinations with possibilities regarding distances and weather forecast. A good skipper should explain in advance the current situation at sea and at the destination, as well as give own suggestions and advice if the clients are not completely sure where they would like to go. Through this conversation, the skipper should feel the attitude and mood of the clients which can be useful when choosing a tempo of sailing and type of destinations.
On the other hand, the clients have a chance to meet the skipper in person and establish an initial communication relationship. Even though clients have a right to demand some routes or destinations from a skipper, it is the skipper who takes the responsibility and gives the final decision about navigation and route planning. In case of any dispute or misunderstanding, the issue has to be solved in a friendly atmosphere and in accordance with the base if necessary. The skipper has to be patient, polite, tidy and neat, and always willing to answer clients’ questions about the yacht, navigation, sailing or a destination.
Evenings are perfect for making a plan for the next day, while the final decision is going to be made in the morning before casting off to the next destination. Good skippers should be able to provide the best spot to stay overnight – either at the anchor or to book the berth at the marina or port. This procedure sometimes considers a friendly tip to marina or port staff, so clients have to be aware of that.
Furthermore, good skippers should always be able to book the table at the best restaurant or bar for their clients. Clients have to be ready for dinner on time because the situation at restaurants and bars in the high season is usually quite hectic. Still, clients sometimes demand unusual favors from their skippers, illegal favors such as providing narcotics or prostitutes on the yacht. Such demands are considered unacceptable, so skipper does not have to respond to them.
Regarding provisioning for skippers, clients have to provide enough food and drinks for them. That considers at least one warm meal a day along with enough water to drink during the day. The most common way to do it is if skipper eats and drinks together with clients. Sometimes clients insist on their privacy, so they should provide skipper either money for meals or enough food in yacht’s refrigerator if they do not want a skipper with them. Skippers should stay away from alcoholic drinks and beverages at least until the yacht is safely moored, and they should make sure they had enough rest for upcoming duties.
The skipper must be left alone for some private free time at the end of the day. That means that skippers
The situation gets more complicated on monohulls. Clients usually take all rooms, so a skipper is sentenced to sleep in the saloon. That means that the skipper is the last to go to bed and first to get up. Sometimes it brings the skipper to unpleasant situations, especially if the clients want to party or stay up late in the night. The deal about the skipper’s accommodation has to be done prior to casting of the base.
The skipper has to not only keep their clients happy and safe at all times of the sailing trip
Sailing with a skipper brings along many benefits, but do not overdo with demands – skippers are also human beings with their limits. Do not forget that you do not have a servant on board, but a trusted person who holds a great deal of responsibility not only for the fun part of the trip